I'm thrilled to have the Subway Love Blog Tour stopping by today with my Interview with author Nora Raleigh Baskin and a book prize pack Giveaway...
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
What if destiny leads you to your soul mate, but the laws of time conspire to keep you apart?
If her parents had never divorced, Laura wouldn’t have to live in the shadow of Bruce, her mom’s unpredictable boyfriend. Her mom wouldn’t say things like "Be groovy," and Laura wouldn’t panic every weekend on the way to Dad’s Manhattan apartment. But when Laura spots a boy on a facing platform, lifting a camera to his face, looking right at her, Laura feels anything but afraid, and she can’t forget him. Jonas, meanwhile, thinks nonstop about the pretty hippie girl he glimpsed on the platform -- trying to comprehend how she vanished, but mostly wondering whether he will see her again in a city of millions -- and whether if he searches, he would have any chance of finding her. In a lyrical meditation on love, Nora Raleigh Baskin explores the soul’s ability to connect, and heal, outside the bounds of time and reason.
What three words best describe Subway Love?
Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give Subway Love a try?
“What if destiny leads you to your soul mates, but the laws of time conspire to keep you apart?”
I just can’t say it any better than my editor did! She’s amazing and it’s a perfect description. I love it so much I used it on my book trailer video – watch it here.
Grab a copy of Subway Love and answer the following…
Well, of course they all are…but I am fond of chapter nine when we first start to really learn about the underground art of graffiti writers in New York City in the early 1970’s, and at the same time Laura and Jonas are figuring out the magic that is happening and falling in love.
Favorite page??! Well, I kinda really like my last page...a faux author’s note that is historical information woven into the fictional story or maybe it’s the other way around. In any case, I really enjoyed learning and making it up.
Hardest chapter and/or page to write?
Chapter fourteen was the hardest to write. It is the scene where Max (Spike) and Jonas sneak into the yards to spray paint a whole subway, a burner. I had of course done a ton of research on graffiti art and the techniques, the colors, the methods, and then I had to write it. The police come and Jonas and Max have to outrun them, through the underground tunnels and up onto the street. These are all things, I must admit, I have never done myself.
Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:
Jonas said he had a plan, somewhere he could take her, somewhere they could be together and be alone. Suddenly, nothing else mattered but the union of their time, the union of their memories.
“You have to trust me,” Jonas told her. “And you can’t be afraid of rats.
What inspired Subway Love? How did the story come to be?
This story actually came about after a school visit and presentation and during lunch I was just talking with some kids about ideas. And we batted around an idea I was working on about two people that could only see each when they sat on this bench. Someone suggested the bench be in a graveyard. And then someone else said it could be a ghost story. And then we decided a time travel story would be cool. And eventually when I got home, the bench morphed into a subway and the ghost story morphed into a love story. And Subway Love started to take form. I also really wanted to explore a true romance that didn’t have a happily ever after story but also wasn’t a complete tragedy. That was the challenge I gave myself. And I think I did it.
Out of all the characters in Subway Love, did you have an absolute favorite to write and explore? What do you love about him/her? Did any of your characters end up surprising you?
I don’t have a favorite. I really do love all of them. But it was the character of Max Lowenbein, a.k.a Spike the underground street artist, who surprised me the most. He grew into a fully developed character, not just a go-between for Jonas and Laura to travel through time. He is a deeply intelligent, sensitive historian, and in many ways a pure artist with a strong connection to his mixed cultural background. I love him.
Subway Love takes place in NYC, and obviously its subways...how important is this setting to the story? Did the setting(s) become its own kind of character?
Well, in this case...most definitely yes. Not only is the subway the conduit for the time travel, but it serves as a metaphor for Jonas and Laura’s love and for the art of the underground artist: both are fleeting and ephemeral. Both are created from great passion but neither can exist for more than a moment and that understanding informs their urgency.
What do you hope readers learn or walk away with from Subway Love?
Hmm, well I never seek to teach anyone anything, except maybe myself. But I want my readers to feel deeply when they read this story. I hope that my metaphors of art and rebellion and love come through. I hope people come away with an interest in graffiti, New York City, hip-hop, and street art in general.
I suppose I also wanted to paint a different picture of the 1970’s hippie scene which is often depicted as free loving and musical and just far out and terrific, but that’s not all it was. There was another side to that changing time and it wasn’t so terrific for everyone.
If you weren’t limited by the boundaries of time, what time period and/or historical person would you love to connect with?
That’s easy. Isadora Duncan. For so many reasons. She was the bravest, most artistic, most humanitarian woman in her time (the 1920’s) or any time. I would give almost anything to have seen her dance and to talk with her or be in her presence. She is one of my greatest heroes. I’ve read everything I can buy about her, and I wish I owned one of those original old photos of her. They are available on eBay but they’re really expensive. One day!
Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at yoga.
I’m really embarrassed to admit I watch a lot of TV.
The last great book I read was Alice Munro’s Runaway.
If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Subway Love, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
Well, I am not a very good baker since I never measure…I am a bit rebellious, like an underground artist. Like Spike the subway writer. Sooooo....my cupcake might be called Graffiti. It would be insanely colorful with bubble letters and writing all over it, and probably crumble as soon as you picked it up so you’d only see it, fall in love, but never get to eat it.
Nora Raleigh Baskin is the acclaimed author of several novels for young readers, including Surfacing and All We Know of Love. She lives in Connecticut.
Win a prize pack of three of Nora's young adult books, including Subway Love, Surfacing, and All We Know Of Love!
Candlewick has generously provided one prize pack, containing all three books, for one winner.
-one winner will get all three books
-must be 13+
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-prize is not being shipped by Word Spelunking and we are not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
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CHECK OUT ALL THE BLOG TOUR STOPS
5/12/14 Who R U Blog
5/13/14 Great Imaginations
5/14/14 Word Spelunking
5/15/14 Once Upon a Twilight
5/16/14 A Leisure Moment
5/17/14 Random Chalk Talk
5/18/14 The Story Siren
5/19/14 Book Chic Club